We found the reclusive Mr. Campbell at a mostly forgotten Bandit’s Biker Bar that fell on hard times when Hell’s Angels switched over to IHOP. Wearing his traditional Levi’s and a navy blue polo shirt, Campbell was halfway through a bottle of Talisker Distiller’s Edition Scotch when we arrived. He consented to talk to us as long was didn’t ask why he left the gigolo business for the low-paying career of a writer.
Newspaper: Do you come here often?
Campbell: It’s my second home.
Newspaper: You’ve done wonders with the place.
Campbell: My designer loves the concept of belligerent neglect.
Newspaper: Now that we’ve gotten the ambiance of our setting out of the way, do you have any secrets you want to tell us?
Campbell: I’m not the same guy who raced cars in the U.K or the guy who wrote The Hero With a Thousand Faces.
Newspaper: We didn’t think you were. Got anything else, something that will make a scandalous headline?
Campbell: I was an Eagle Scout.
Newspaper: Good Lord, are you serious? You’re such a badass, nobody would suspect you once worked on merit badges and gone on camping trips.
Campbell: You’re the first person I’ve told other than my mother.
Newspaper: So, now that you’ve finished Fate’s Arrows, what are you working on now?
Campbell: A tell-all about how to use time travel for fun and profit.
Newspaper: Aren’t you afraid most people will think it’s another contemporary fantasy being released under the fiction that it’s really nonfiction?
Campbell: Most of the world’s nonfiction never happened. Most novels are true. So in this case, readers who think the book is really fiction are ahead of the game.
Newspaper: What game?
Campbell: The game we’re playing right now where you ask me questions, I tell you lies, and you print them in the feature section of your newspaper as God’s honest truth.
Newspaper: So, when it comes down to it, this interview is a farce.
Campbell: Pretty much. But it serves a need. The readers think they know more about me than they did before even though they suspect they’re being played for suckers.
Newspaper: One is born every minute.
Campbell: More than that, I think.
Newspaper: Are you this messed up in “real life”?
Campbell: If there were such a thing as “real life,” I would hope so. But there isn’t, so I’m not. Readers who suspect “real life” isn’t real are drawn to my books because they want to know why everything is always in a mess, so the best I can do is offer them a way to escape the illusion of the daily news.
–Stargazer News Service